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The Observer paper 10/05/15

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Legal weed has its limits

Union County District Attorney Kelsie McDaniel said there’s been a misconception about the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Variance request for complex denied

Residents of the new Blue Springs Crossing apartments will have to wait until the entire complex is completed to move in after the Island City City Council denied a variance request Monday. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
ISLAND CITY — The $7.6 million Blue Springs Crossing apartment complex on Walton Road will not be opening earlier than expected.  

BRIEFLY: Safe Ride program helps EOLS, EOU

The Safe Ride Home program will be rolling again starting Thursday.

The free program, started by Kevin Loveland 15 years ago to prevent people from driving home while intoxicated, will offer free rides home to those attending the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show.

On Saturday evening, rides home will be offered to help those attending Eastern Oregon University graduation parties.

The Safe Ride Home program is run by Loveland Funeral Chapel. 

Rides will be available to everyone.

Rides will be provided from the EOLS from Thursday through Sunday. Rides will be available each day beginning with the start of rodeo competition. 

Following are the start times for rodeo competition: 
7 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Rides, in all cases, will be provided through 2:30 a.m. the next day.

EOLS  rides will be provided from Union to anywhere in Union County. The Safe Ride Home program provided between 800 and 1,000 rides to individuals from the EOLS in 2014, Loveland said.

 EOU graduation rides will be provided from 8 p.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Rides home will provided 
in La Grande and Island City.

All Safe Ride Home trips will be provided in vehicles provided free of charge for the program by M.J. Goss Motor Co., Legacy Ford Lincoln and Legacy Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

Anyone who needs a ride should call Loveland Funeral Chapel at 541-963-5022.

Water rates going up in Island City

Island City residents will soon be paying more for water service.

Island City's city council voted Monday to boost water service rates by $5 a month. The increase means that most  residents will see their monthly rates jump by $5 to $45 starting in July. The base rates for commercial users will also jump by $5 a month.

Money from the rate increase will be used to help the city pay off a government loan for a water service improvement project.

After 25 years, Wallowa Lake Lodge on the market

The Wallowa Lake Lodge’s rustic charm and elegance has welcomed guests for nearly a century. The Lodge sits on nine acres — the Eagle Cap Mountains, the Wallowa River and Wallowa Lake can all be taken in while sitting on the back deck or the expansive lawn. (Katy Nesbitt/ The Observer)
WALLOWA LAKE — The place looks like a movie set — along the street, a 1950s-style neon sign says “Wallowa Lake Lodge and Cabins” in front of a classic turn-of-the-20th century lodge; from the back, the lodge is framed by the Eagle Caps with Wallowa Lake 100 yards away.

For the last 25 years, the lodge was owned and run by Marc and Nancy Zwerling and Steve Larsen. Marc Zwerling said they bought it as an investment, not knowing how attached they would become to the historic lodge and its surroundings.

Seamstress switches from adult clothes to dolls’ clothes

Sherry Moore has sewn many outfits since retiring from Beehive Clothing. She sells her doll outfits at farmers’ markets and during the Christmas season at local stores. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
After spending 13 years on an assembly line sewing adult clothes, Sherry Moore has switched gears and has a much smaller focus.

Enterprise, county sued in federal court

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County and the City of Enterprise are being sued for wrongfully issuing a stop-work order and denying building permits on property outside of Enterprise.

BRIEFLY: New Imbler district head named Friday

IMBLER — Angie Lakey-Campbell, an Idaho educator, was named the Imbler School District’s next superintendent on Friday.

Lakey-Campbell has been the principal of Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Idaho, since 2000. She has also taught math at Cambridge High School during this time. 

Lakey-Campbell will succeed Beth Burton, who will step down as superintendent at the end of June to take a position as a principal of Umatilla High School. Lakey-Campbell will take her new position on July 1.

The Imbler School Board will officially appoint Lakey-Campbell as superintendent when it meets on Tuesday. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in room 1 of Imbler High School. The board will also discuss the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. 


Beginning June 17th the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be chip se aling a section of the La Grande-Baker Highway (OR 203) between Union and the Interstate 84 Exit 265 interchange in Union County. The project is expected to take about three days to complete, however, some loose rock on the roadway may be present for a few days after the work is done. ODOT crews will return June 22nd to apply a fog seal to the chip sealed section in Union. The fog seal will create an even, uniform surface and help minimize loose rock on the highway (Main Street) through town. 

Car reported missing; police located it within an hour

Police Chief Brian Harvey was taking the theft report when the car passed him on the street.
 A car was stolen, and quickly recovered, thanks to the La Grande Police Department and some poor choices by the thief. 

Army recruiter saves woman from car I-84 vehicle fire

Fire crews extinguish a car fire on Interstate 84 on May 21. Avis Elain Thomas, 59, of Portland, sustained major injuries, according to the accident report from the Oregon State Police.
 Whether it was impeccable timing or a guardian angel, Sgt. Thomas Jury was in the right place at the right time and saved a woman’s life two weeks ago.

EOU's Easton-Brooks named dean of the School of Education at USD

Eastern Oregon University's Donald R. Easton-Brooks has been named the dean of the School of Education at the University of South Dakota. Easton-Brooks will begin his new position June 22.

Police officer funding dropped

The La Grande Police Department will not be getting a new police officer after all.

Two summer bond projects face delays

The La Grande High School auditorium may have to wait a bit longer to get an upgrade. The auditorium will be completely gutted and then updated with a brand new sound system and seats.
 A busy summer on the construction and renovation front is looming in the La Grande School District.

Council adopts budget without new police officer funding

The La Grande City Council has adopted the city's 2015-16 budget — without funding for a new police officer.

BRIEFLY: Meet Jon Matye, USFS special agent

Meet Jon Matye, USFS special agent

BAKER CITY — The public is invited to the 6:30 p.m. Friday EOMA meeting at Baker City City Hall for a chance to meet Jon Matye and hear about his approach to law enforcement on the forest. Matye worked on the Wallowa-Whitman previously and is familiar with this part of Eastern Oregon. He has had an impressive career that includes successful arson and criminal investigations. 

County OK’s land-use plan changes

ENTERPRISE — After careful consideration and many hours of debate, the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners voted to approve an amendment to its land-use protection plan.


Buffalo Peak’s future not quite so bleak?

Despite last week’s dismal discussion over Buffalo Peak Golf Course’s budgetary issues, Union County Commissioner Jack Howard does not think the future is as bleak as it was made out to be.

Water rates could rise

La Grande residents should anticipate another water rate increase this year — though not as steep as last year’s $6 increase.


BRIEFLY: Teen Movie Night scheduled for Friday

The next Teen Movie Night will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at Cook Memorial Library, 2006 Fourth St., La Grande. Teen Movie Nights are offered year-round and are always free and open to anyone in grades 6-12. Free popcorn and soda will be served. Teens may bring comfortable chairs and snacks. 

Call 541-962-1339, visit the library or go to www.cityoflagrande.org/library or the library’s Facebook pages for current movie information and upcoming teen events. 

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